In the world of commentaries, there seems to be an endless list of choices. Every publisher and seemingly every well-known pastor or theologian is producing yet another commentary or has contributed their thoughts to a commentary set. This means that choosing a quality commentary can be a daunting challenge at times given all the available choices one has to wade through. On the other hand, there are some commentary sets that bring a sense of excitement to the nerdy at heart when a new volume makes its way to print. EP Books Study Commentary series is one of those series that should garner such excitement, to include a recent volume added to this series, namely the contribution of Guy Prentiss Waters on the book of Acts.
Waters approaches the book of Acts in the manner any quality commentary should follow by first providing background information on the book under discussion that includes the necessary conversations on matters such as authorship, date of writing, genre, purpose, and providing the reader with an outline of the book. While these are important items, some authors of commentaries address such issues in a rather mundane manner that makes the reader just want to skip over the introduction right to the “good stuff.” Waters provides the introductory matters of importance in a way that actually draws the reader into the facts. He draws a nice balance between scholarship and accessibility, noting things such as the genre of Acts and the varying viewpoints provided by scholars through the years without bogging down the conversation in unnecessary minutia.
After providing the introduction information for Acts, Waters next exegetes the text. Now the book of Acts is replete with action. Underlying the action is a host of important theological truths that Waters draws out for the reader with a great deal of expertise. He takes a readable section of the book, discusses the historical background, what specifically was taking place in that passage, any theological truths of import, concluding each section of the text under investigation with an application, something many commentaries simply do not provide. While one can know all the facts about a certain portion of Scripture, if the application has been overlooked, the reader is left with just head knowledge meaning not much has made that short journey from head to heart. Waters, by providing this needed application piece to his commentary, addresses the need for the truth to make their way into our everyday lives.
There is a lot to cover in the book of Acts as there are many main characters who are called to a great many places for the purpose of taking the message of the gospel to all the word in obedience to what God’s people have been called to do since the days of the Old Testament. In Acts, God is expanding the offering of His marriage covenant to all the world. As with any commentary, there are bound to be some aspects a person will find disagreement with, but that is quite normal. I found Waters exegesis and application to be by and large on target and committed to a sound analysis of the text. Any points of disagreement were minor at best.
Acts is a book that shows God’s people on mission, a mission we are all called to do in part and according to the gifts that God has blessed us with to be part of that salt and light, a people dedicated to declaring the truth of the gospel. Waters constantly reminds the reader of that mission, concluding this helpful commentary with a salient reminder that “Our service will not be easy, as Luke’s account of the ministries of Peter and Paul testifies, but it will not be in vain.”
I recommend this commentary as a valuable resource for all believers interested in studying the book of Acts. Full of helpful insights, scholarly yet not over the heads of the average layman, this latest addition to the EP Books Study Commentary series is one worth taking a look at. I know I will spend some additional time in this commentary in future years, looking to it as a resource when studying matters related to the book of Acts.
This commentary is available for purchase from EP Books by clicking here.
I received this book for free from EP Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”